Since the beginning of the year I have been following ideas and recipes from the book “Clean-The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body’s Natural Ability to Heal Itself,” written by Alejandro Junger, M.D. and recommended to me by my sister.
Though I haven’t written much here about my recent health issues, one of the main reasons for the recent life changes I’ve made is that for the past several years, and especially the last six months of 2016, my body has been screaming that my chosen path was unsustainable and that the coping mechanisms which had previously allowed me to power through a job, were no longer working. Not only were they not working, they were making me sicker and sicker with every job and year.
My body was running on empty after years of sleep deprivation and the sugar and caffeine I resorted to, just to keep going. The cycle of anxiety>insomnia>adrenaline>insomnia>depleted immune system and adrenals> constant colds and sinus infections> vitamin deficiency> hormonal imbalance> insomnia> exhaustion became a constant in my life until I finally stopped ever getting better and had a sinus infection for most of six months. In addition, my skin was puffy, my energy was non existent, my digestion was off, and I knew something, or many things, had to change.
My sister suggested I read Dr. Junger’s book and I related to each symptom he described. I won’t paraphrase or try to sum it up, but would highly recommend it to anyone who just doesn’t feel as well as they know they could or should. Though I have yet to complete the recommended program perfectly, I did it decently well and saw immediate and amazing results. And then last week, during a long week of work, I fell off of the wagon and into old patterns; coffee, sugar, a whole, large bag of corn chips in one sitting, donuts, wine, and bread. It was all delicious but led to headaches, sinus pressure, puffy eyes, and lethargy, immediately. So, back on the wagon I go. Fresh vegetables, healthy fats, meats, and fish, green tea if caffeine is necessary, and no sugar, wheat, alcohol, or dairy. It will take a couple of days to get back in the swing and be slightly painful for those days, but will then be totally worth it!
Photo taken outside of Matchabar in Silver Lake, one of the great businesses I pass while walking home with groceries.
It’s Saturday morning and, after a very busy week, I am eating homemade rice pudding, drinking coffee, and finally sitting in front of my computer. The Tarot book next to me is open to Chariot, the card I have pulled several days this week, it is a beautiful early spring day outside and I woke up without an alarm. Life is good!
Two nights ago, a friend from New Mexico came over for a cup of tea and to hang out for a bit and while we were sitting on my couch, I had one of those strange moments where you look at your life and think “oh right, I created all of this and here I am.” (I can only imagine that parents must think that every few minutes when looking at their children!) Seeing my friend in LA and out of our normal New Mexico context, allowed me to look at my new apartment, furniture, and city and see all of the changes that have happened over the past six months in a way that I have been too busy living lately to do.
But, more interesting than all of the differences were the similarities, because the truth is that, regardless of the size of changes life may undergo periodically, it does just go on! I grocery shop, listen to music, do laundry, drive to work (albeit in more traffic), clean my place, visit with friends, cook food, blog, etc., but then I go to the beach and an improv class and to a new downtown restaurant or to a museum and I remember why the changes were necessary.
The Chariot keeps appearing in my cards and this morning I opened my Voyager Tarot book to see what author James Wanless had to say about that. ” Movement brings change, and change brings new experience, learning, and growth- it leads to the achievement of your evolutionary destiny…As Cancer, the Charioteer carries the shell or home (self security) on his/her back and is at home wherever…Travel and test your sense of inner security… To be at home wherever you are is knowing yourself- being centered.” Though this could mean that ones physical surroundings shouldn’t matter because it’s what is inside that keeps you grounded, I’ve long known that my physical home base was more important to me than to some. It is necessary for me to create a beautiful space from which to set out each morning and that is perhaps why a decade of tiptoeing in and out of LA, without first creating that, hadn’t worked for me. For the first time, all of my personal items (clothing, books, Buddha statue, tea kettle, photos, wooden clogs form Amsterdam, sewing machine…) are here and because of that I feel grounded and able to keep moving into the adventure. If you want to call sitting on a couch on a Thursday night and drinking tea an adventure! Seems like a good one to me.
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